Who oddsmakers think could replace Arizona football coach Kevin Sumlin

Dec 16, 2020, 9:59 AM
Boise State coach Bryan Harsin yells to an official during the first half of the Cactus Bowl NCAA c...

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin yells to an official during the first half of the Cactus Bowl NCAA college football game against Baylor, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

When the Arizona Wildcats fired head coach Kevin Sumlin on Saturday, ending his tenure with a 9-20 record, numerous football alumni raised concerns about the next hire’s ability to connect with the past.

Former Arizona defensive back Heath Bray told FOX 1450 AM’s Eye on the Ball show that hundreds of former Wildcats met on a Zoom call in the aftermath of Sumlin’s firing.

Those players want athletic director Dave Heeke to find a candidates who can connect with them as well as the Tucson community. Building a program without a historically strong football team will be a challenge, and that is why oddsmakers have a unique list of names in the running for the Arizona head coaching job.

Atop’s list is former Wildcat defensive tackle Joe Salave’a, who is Oregon’s defensive line coach.

Making the push up the board in recent days is San Jose head coach Brent Brennan, who had a stint on Arizona’s staff as a graduate assistant in 2000 and brings experience building a program on the West Coast. Brennan, who is still coaching a 6-0 Spartans team, was a top-three candidate earlier in the week but jumped Boise State coach Bryan Harsin with the second-best odds to end up with the job.

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo, who Arizona liked before ultimately landing Sumlin in 2018, also jumped Harson and is now third in odds.

Odds: Arizona Wildcats’ next football head coach

Oregon D-line coach and former Arizona DL Joe Salave’a +400

San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan +450

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo +750

Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin +800

Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold +900

Nevada head coach Jay Norvell +1000

Kent State head coach Sean Lewis +1000

Arizona senior defensive analyst Chuck Cecil +1200

USC OC Graham Harrell +1200

Arizona DC and interim head coach Paul Rhoads +1200

Former Arizona LB Ricky Hunley +1200

Alabama OC Steve Sarkisian +1200

Oregon DC Andy Avalos +1400

Arizona State co-DC and former Arizona LB Antonio Pierce +1400

Central Michigan head coach Jim McElwain +1400

North Texas head coach and former Arizona OC Seth Littrell +1400

SMU head coach and former Arizona OC Sonny Dykes +1400

Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl +2000

Fresno State head coach Kalen DeBoer +2000

Former Arizona defensive end and ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi +3300

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